The Best of Gregory Benford PDF/EPUB ✓ of Gregory

The Best of Gregory Benford PDF/EPUB ✓ of Gregory

4 thoughts on “The Best of Gregory Benford

  1. Eamonn Murphy Eamonn Murphy says:

    ‘The Best Of Gregory Benford’ contains thirty eight stories by Gregory Benford which he and editor David G Hartwell reckon to be his best I read the whole thing but will pick out the highlights In the interesting ‘Afterword’ Benford splits the stories into three categories but I’ll just run through them as they appeared in chronological order‘Doing Lennon’ 1975 is an interesting story for a Beatles fan as it has a chap pulling a long sleep scam Frozen by Immortality Incorporated Henry Fielding wakes up in 2108 and tells them he’s John Lennon frozen under a false name to escape persecution by the government He wakes in a clean bright sterilised future Henry was a crooked stockbroker but life as a rock star is fun and like Lennon he’s adept at one liners Written in 1975 before poor John’s ultimate fate was known this has some good guesses at his future It’s a clever story with a neat twistIn ‘Dark Sanctuary’ 1979 an asteroid miner comes across something unusual at work This is set in one of those futures where enterprising humanity moves out into the solar system and prospers though the story is not about that The background contrasts sharply with that of ‘A Desperate Calculus’ 1995 that appears later in the book Like many SF writers Asimov is a prime example Benford may have been getting less optimistic about our future as the present unfoldedHard Science Fiction writers are not normally deemed poetic but when they are and the scientific knowledge and sense of wonder are combined with beautiful language it’s a great accomplishment Benford achieves this often but does it especially well in ‘Time’s Rub 1985 In a distant future two figures flee the deadly Laggenmorphs in the aftermath of a battle they have lost Xen is a mere functionary but Faz was the leader of the rebel side Both are a mix of flesh and robot They encounter an immortal intelligence made up of magnetic fields who plays a game with them A pure joy to read unless you’re a writer in which case you will weep with envy‘Centigrade 233’ 1990 is a riff on Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and a very good one too The excellent library of Science Fiction magazines that the protagonist inherits would make any fan of the Golden Age weep with envy Its sad fate is implied in the title but the reason for it is highly original‘World Vast World Various’ 1992 is a novelette in which a group of Japanese scientists study primitive hunter gatherers on one of a pair of binary worlds orbiting a red sun The science is as exact as ever The planet has the ruins of great cities and other signs of an old culture but it’s not clear if the primitives are that same race gone backwards or a new race Here Benford looks at a very alien culture through the eyes of an alien culture the Japanese though one he clearly knows well The story dates from 1992 a period when Japan seemed ascendant and the United States watched it with fear and fascination it‘s astonishing productivity and technological advances‘In The Dark Backward’1993 has a literary historian from the future making a strictly forbidden trip back in time to tell Shakespeare a few days before his death that his work will live on forever just to make him feel good She then goes on to speak to another famous writer but eventuallywell I won’t give away the ending The past is realistically portrayed and Benford continues to write poetically with a distinct fondness for alliteration ‘song swept by on the stirring wind’Partners Amy and Todd feature in ‘A Desperate Calculus’1995 They are both scientists working in the field She’s in Africa trying to combat a ‘flu’ virus and he’s in South America collecting insect and other species before deforestation wipes them out Not sure if it’s set in 1995 or the near future but either way there is much musing on the catastrophic conseuences of humanities unfettered breeding and destruction of the Earth’s habitat Timely back then this has become really urgent now Programmed to have babies we will keep doing it until we choke the planet Hey ho‘Zoomers’ 1996 is a sort of cyberpunk thing about two clever dicks playing the market spotting trends making money creating nothing making nothing growing nothing and feeding off the rest of us The market was sacred back then One would hope that since the taxpayers around the world had to bail out the banks and the markets in 2008 and we’re still paying they might have lost some of their sacred cow status Unfortunately they haven’t‘The Voice’ 1997 has people unable to read It’s set in a far distant future that doesn’t seem so distant now Everyone has implants and a voice in their ear gives them any information they need as they go about their daily life The old signs are still there ‘Passage Denied’ is the first example given but while uent hears the words as usual his friend Kiera can read them She has learned to read while studying They discover another reader and there’s a nice twist at the end The dying out of everyday skills we take for granted is always a good hook for an SF story Asimov did one in which people had forgotten how to do handwriting and another ’It’s Such A Beautiful Day’ in which people teleported everywhere and ignored the natural world‘Slow Symphonies Of Mass And Time’ 1998 was written for an anthology in tribute to Roger Zelazny A Galactic Empire of the far future is made possible by wormholes These are not simple tunnels from one place to another as in ‘Deep Space Nine’ but labyrinthine and hard to navigate Older ones are stable but smaller wormholes pop up now and then narrow and dangerous On the run from an opposing political faction Governor Zeb and his able consort Fyrna flee across the galaxy pursued by an admiral A marvellous evocation of both the cosmic wonders that may await us and the inescapable primate instincts that will forever shape our politics‘A Dance To Strange Musics’ 1998 is a fantastic piece of world building the world being in the Alpha Centauri system in this case The mystery starts with a lake floating ten kilometres above its continent suspended bywhat? There’s no single protagonist but Benford takes the omniscient narrator view as he follows several of the brave explorers Slowly the nature of the planet becomes clear and it’s terrifying at least to humansThere’s are fewer big stories in this collection from after the millennium possibly because Benford was focusing on novels There are some nice shorter shorts some mildly amusing or raising philosophical or religious points in a humorous way I’ll just pick a couple of the longer onesIn ‘Twenty Two Centimetres’2004 Julie and Al investigate a counter Earth in a universe twenty two centimetres from our own but in a direction not easily travelled Only gravity passes between the dimensions until scientists manage to open a gateway It is much colder on Counter Earth but there is life on another brilliantly imagined planet‘The Sigma Structure Symphony’2012 is about a research institute on the Moon that’s studying the vast databanks we will one day have of communications from other stars These are immensely complicated and difficult to interpret and there are teams of men and women employed in the work Ruth takes over the analysis of some data from a man who committed suicide after working on it Noteworthy that interstellar travel is ruled out here and interstellar communication is the focus There’s a school of thought in SF that space opera is fantasy and true Science Fiction should focus on what’s really possible As usual with Benford this is both interesting scientifically and touching in human termsEventually a reviewer must run out of superlatives and sorting the gems from a book that is entirely gems is futile If I praised every story that deserves it the review would run very long It’s probably too long already Subterranean Press has done the world a favour in bringing this bumper anthology to us and it’s a great buy for any fan of solid hard Science Fiction It’s not easy reading for the non scientist and I suspect it will be even satisfying for the many readers smarter than me but I enjoyed it hugely However Benford is always focused on the people caught up in his rich worlds so don’t get the impression this is cold hearted technological text There’s love lust greed ambition and all the other human failings too This rich fare should be taken in small bites and will give many months of pleasureEamonn MurphyThis review first appeared at

  2. Ron Ron says:

    I find many SF books come up lacking but this is one of the better ones for short stories Of course you may not like all of them but you soon can get on to the next one and many are good I find this better than slugging through a 600 page tale

  3. Jack Jacobson Jack Jacobson says:

    I had not heard of him though I'd read a lot of SF Many interesting short stories plus he gets the science right he's an astrophysicist He has other series I'll take a look at

  4. Rose Rose says:

    Thought provoking tend to be on the uiet side

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The Best of Gregory Benford ❴Reading❵ ➻ The Best of Gregory Benford Author Gregory Benford – This is a monumental collection of thirty eight Gregory Benford stories including some of the best science fiction of the last fifty years chosen from the than two hundred he has published to date At This is of Gregory PDF Î a monumental collection of thirty eight Gregory Benford stories including some of the best science fiction of the last fifty years chosen from the than two hundred he has published to date At the end of the s Benford expanded his novella “Deeper than the Darkness” to become his first novel of the same title in He hit his stride in the s making his reputation with stories such as “Doing Lennon” and “In Alien Flesh” By the end of that decade The Best PDF/EPUB or he had written  In the Ocean of Night the first of his impressive Galactic Center novels He entered the s a Nebula Award winner for his classic novel  Timescape That decade continued with the impressive stories “Relativistic Effects” and “Exposures” the novel  Against Infinity and ended with “Matters End” and “Mozart on Morphine” By the middle of the s he had also taken the leadership position of spokesman for hard science fiction and contended with the rising cyberpunk reformers of hard SF He has remained the Best of Gregory PDF ´ most articulate defender of science’s role in science fiction to this day and perhaps the most literate and literary of its writers In the s by now an acknowledged master of hard science fiction he became playful in some works in particular stories such as “Centigrade ” a riff on Ray Bradbury’s classic  Fahrenheit  and “Zoomers” a dot com bubble superman fantasia while still holding to the center with the majority of his writing completing his long series of Galactic Center novels and even writing in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation universe That playful thread became central after the turn of the millennium with shorter satirical pieces originally published in  Nature such as “Applied Mathematical Theology” and “Reasons Not to Publish” But he still wrote the innovative stories “Bow Shock” “Mercies” and “The Sigma Structure Symphony” and in the second decade of the new century embarked on a major collaboration with Larry Niven in the novels  The Bowl of Heaven and Shipstar We have here a series of snapshots of a moving target a writer who has been growing and changing for decades extending his art and the art of science fiction writing Benford continues building himself challenging structures to write in with two story series in progress that may emerge as major works He’s not slowing down But for the record we now have this book a permanent chronicle of a major career Six decades so far.